The recent Tanishq jewellery commercial, showing a dusky woman with a child, getting remarried was received with much positivity. The ad shot by Gauri Shinde, of 'English Vinglish' fame, was hailed by celebrities, media and people alike on social networks and various other platforms. It’s always welcome to see positive reactions towards remarriage when it is still being considered taboo by certain sections of the society.
Neechu R., a microbiologist from Mumbai says, “I religiously followed all traditions and by default looked down upon remarriage until I was put in that position myself. I filed for divorce after an unhappy marriage and found love a couple of years later. I was treated as an outcast by my family because I set a ‘bad example’ and was excluded from most gatherings because I was considered unlucky.”
“It was then that I realised that fundamental values instilled in us from childhood through our parents’ perception of the society, religious views, commercial films celebrating such stereotypes, and other little things had influenced my own thought process leaving me with little chance to know right from wrong,” she adds.
Cinema, music and books are the most influential mediums, according to Sijo Joseph., a human rights activist. “They have helped instigate change and bring a progressive outlook to relationships and marriage.” But he also believes that the root of the problem lies with people who are educated and yet refuse to see light. “The worst kind of people are those who prefer to hang onto bad marriages and sadistically scorn at everyone who breaks away from one. I personally know a lot of friends who stay in bad marriages for fear of being cast aside by their families and religious factions. There are still families who make it a point to ostracise those who opt out of the institution of marriage and thus sending a subtle warning to their impressionable kids about the punishment meted out to ‘such kind of people’.” points out Sijo Joseph.
Companionship, ultimately, is the foundation on which every family is built. But more than finding a partner in life, it’s the support for children that spur most single parents to remarry. Not just to fill a financial void, but an emotional one. Despite facing initial opposition from society, most remarried couples are now being welcomed into family and friends’ circles.
Popular actor Padmapriya says, “I understand there are more repercussions when a marriage breaks as opposed to a relationship but compared to earlier times, our society is now more accepting when it comes to remarriage. My family was really supportive of remarriage in the case of one of my relatives after her spouse had passed away.”
What is crucial for acceptance of anything outside of what we consider normal is exposure. And, exposure can come from either having to deal with it on a personal basis or through mediums like books, music, movies and visual media. That’s why this ad deserves the applause it has been getting but it also makes you wonder why such an initiative has come this late. But as they say better late than never....